DURA

The ‘Dura’ prioritises space, daylight and views, offering an enormous transparent volume in which a variety of classroom types can be endlessly (re)configured. Ultimately the Dura school could become something else; a sports, conference or exhibition facility.

dRMM and the consultant team developed this radical design for the 21st century, with the deliberate intent of transforming the imposed and deterministic nature of schools into individualised places of learning, empowerment and variety.

Our hyper-modern school is practical. The modular timber classrooms are spacious and soundproofed, have generous adjacent spaces to colonise, and can be stacked. The spectacular inside/outside volume creates an integrated social collective, giving every school the right to (re)plan departmental layouts according to changes in pedagogy, intake or ambition. The extensive choice internally defines each Dura school, the whole space further characterised by space, light and trees under an enveloping sky.

Passive services provide fresh cooled/heated air direct to all classrooms at little or no energy cost, without expensive plant or maintenance. Construction utilises ecologically sound, durable materials prefabricated offsite, enabling a short and dry site period.

The dRMM led team have designed a school considered by the DCSF to be a ‘real Exemplar’; an appropriately radical response to the brief for the School for the Future. The design is truly flexible, beautiful, practical and eco-nomic. It is research and a serious proposal born out of much consideration, knowledge, and the construction experience of the award-winning Kingsdale School. Of the eleven teams commissioned by the DCSF, the Dura was the sole Exemplar School design selected and presented to Prime Minister at the official launch of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme in 2004.